Seventeen-year-old Crystal White is the new girl on Starfish Island. Dragged to the remote community by her environmental activist father, she is eager to find fun that doesn’t involve touching fish guts or listening to local folklore.
During a midnight swim with some new friends, Crystal is pulled out to sea by the waves. Convinced she’s going to drown, Crystal is rescued by Llyr, a handsome stranger. As she searches for him in the following weeks, she finds there may be more truth to the Starfish legends than she thought.
Over a sizzling roller-coaster summer, Llyr introduces Crystal to magic she’d only ever dreamed of. But as Crystal comes to love Starfish Island, it begins to drive her family apart. A nearby power plant is devastating local marine life, and her parents are stuck in the middle. As the magic and mundane parts of Crystal’s life converge, she finds herself risking everything to save Llyr, her family, and herself.
I really wanted to love this book. Everything about it screamed amazing. I am actually really upset that I didn't love it. This book did not capture my attention at all. I was waiting and waiting for something to change in history and for me to be drawn in… it never happened.
I also didn't like Crystal. For some reason she just struck me as really arrogant and naive. This book also had insta-love. A.k.a the pet peeve of every reader ever. I didn't like the relationship between Crystal and Llyr.
That being said, I did like the idea and concept of this book. I mean… mermaids… that's pretty cool! And, Crystal’s best friend and parents are hilarious. Even though I am not a fan of the first book, I am going to continue with the series and hope it gets better. I think this series has great potential and I am excited to see what happens.
What made you write a book about mermaids?
I loved the Hans Christian Anderson tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ when I was little and I still think they are under-explored creatures, despite being so popular. I wanted to give them a really interesting, ancient, mythological background, but put them in a modern context.
If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?
I imagine it would be Crystal, as she has all the fin, I mean fun. She is sweet and sensitive, but a little over-emotional and that doesn’t help as she goes through some very dramatic times.
There are many books out there about.... What makes yours different?
I think the mer-lore is especially unique, and completely different from what we have read about before. I also think the book is quite an accurate portrayal of how it really is being a young adult; the messy nights out, the emotions, the insecurities that may make you squirm, but that we actually all experience. Also, although Crystal can hold her own and survives all her highs and lows, she is not the typical ‘bad-ass’ heroine we see regularly today. I really enjoy that type of character, but see Crystal as quite real, and I know many of my young Wattpad readers can really relate to her and all the emotions she experiences.
How long have you been writing?
I think like most writers, since I could hold a pen. And when I was maybe five or six my Dad would type up my stories for me on a typewriter and then we would make books with cardboard hardback covers, and masking tape binding. And then I learned to type myself…
What advice would you give budding writers?
Just write! And go back and correct stuff later. Write what you want to write, and don’t hold back - but it is also good to seek and use feedback with people you can trust to be constructive. Storytelling sites like Wattpad are great for this.
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Goodreads 2021: 3/20